Police to protest over cuts

SCORES of police officers are set to take part in a protest march in London tomorrow.

The Police Federation of England and Wales has organised the protest to highlight concerns about the consequences of 20 per cent cuts for public safety and the disproportionate attack on policing by the Government.

The march will see 130 of off-duty police officers from Cleveland Police taking part to show their anger at budget cuts.

Organisers say police officers are extremely angry about the excessive budget cuts to policing and the way they are being treated by the Government.

The march will start at Millbank, London, at noon passing the Home Office, Parliament Square, Whitehall (Downing Street), Trafalgar Square, and will end at Waterloo Place.

The police budget has been cut by 20 per cent and officers fear this will result in a poorer service for communities.

The Government says savings need to be made for the greater good of the economy.

But, police officers say they have already made a significant contribution to tackle the national debt.

According to HMIC the police service will lose over 16,000 warranted officers over the next four years, £163 million is being taken from police pay this year alone, pension contributions have been increased and a two-year public sector pay freeze has been imposed on police officers.

Steve Matthews, chairman of Cleveland Police Federation, said: “The reality of the cuts to policing is really beginning to bite.

“In the past year alone, we have lost over 200 police officers in Cleveland which is having a marked effect on the frontline, coupled with this, we are witnessing the privatisation of core policing roles as chief officers struggle to cope with budget restraints.

“The Government need to be realistic about the outcome of severe cuts to policing; we cannot afford to compromise on public safety.”